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87 comments

Then they think the want to become the very thing that is causing them to have the trauma in the first place- a male.

But that's the thing. Most of them don't want to be women but also not men. That's why they are so obsseded by the cis/trans part of trans men, hating cishet men and the other identities like transmasc.

I was just thinking of a conversation I had years ago about periods. My friend didn't understand why some women were so embarrassed about it. She told me that even once she had a blood stain on her butt and and a male friend just let her know and lent her a jacket, and she was not embarrassed by that, nor he teased her. I told a story about a classmate who was made fun by all the boys in the class because she had her period. My friend was puzzled why would that be something to make fun of, until she realised I was talking about 13 year olds. She got her first period at 16, which explains why she was far more comfortable with it than I and my school friends were at 12/13.

The average age of the first period has decreased in the past decades. People blame the food, which could be - I saw an article about decrease in fertility in men since 1980 and it explained how food contaminated with plastic affect hormone production. I've also years ago heard that sexual stimulation could trigger puberty, which means that children exposed to porn, or simply oversexualised images, could be causing girls to start their periods earlier.

Girls hit puberty before they are mature enough to handle it. Boys do too I guess, but girls have misogyny to deal with too, that's why it can be distressing.

[–] Turtlefuzz Gender Outlaw 🤠 22 points

I've also years ago heard that sexual stimulation could trigger puberty, which means that children exposed to porn, or simply oversexualised images, could be causing girls to start their periods earlier.

I've never heard this, I'll have to look it up.

Personally, my period started 3 months before my 13th birthday. I never watched anything sexual as a kid, my mom was very diligent about that. In my case it was either unlucky genetics, or the plastic/chemicals we all ingest. I wonder if any other women had this happen to them.

I thought I was late, getting mine around my 13th birthday in 8th grade. I remember my friends saying how our period product demo in grade 6 sex-ed was already too late for them.

Apparently maternal age of onset of menarche is the biggest factor. I may have been 6 months earlier than my own mother? And considering her mother before her would've started during WWII I wouldn't be surprised if living on potatoes for weeks at a time might have delayed hers.

[–] Tnetennba 8 points Edited

I was the last one in my friend group to get it at age 13 as well. The first of us was 8 years old.

It really caught me off guard when I told my GP that at age 22. She was like WOW you got it super early!! Uhhh, no I didn't, my friends literally made fun of me for still being a "baby".

When I think about what television was in the 90s, I didn't need to be exposed to anything labelled as adult content to see oversexualisation. I remember worrying about being "sexy" as young as eight, not really understanding what it meant.

I also remember some girls in school who were more developed than most, also happened to be the ones bringing up sex into the conversation (although it doesn't prove anything).

There may be several reasons why the average age of first period to be decreasing. It just doesn't seem normal to have a period so early.

Mine started about a month before my 11th birthday! I had pubic hair by seven, though, and breasts by ten, which was not pleasant. That was a pretty normal timeline for my classmates, too (most people got their periods between 11-13). I'm 37 now.

I was 12 and a half, almost exactly. Maybe like 12 an 5 months, or something? 7th grade. I didn't get bullied for it, but it was uncomfortable for me because I wore pads for the few to several months and I just hate how that feels (first few days are too heavy flow for them to be comfy, not to mention pulling out hairs). I switched to tampons and have been fine with it ever-since, but I'm lucky I was never made to feel shame for from anyone, especially not family members. I've heard stories of mothers shaming their own daughters, the internalized misogyny is real and a multi-generational trauma.

[–] hmimperialtortie AGP = evil 2 points

Mine started around my 13th birthday (don’t remember precisely, but it was in first form). That was in the mid 70s. That was about average. I had seen one pornographic magazine, briefly, that I can remember, by then.

[–] cookiecutter 13 points Edited

The average age of the first period has decreased in the past decades. People blame the food, which could be - I saw an article about decrease in fertility in men since 1980 and it explained how food contaminated with plastic affect hormone production. I've also years ago heard that sexual stimulation could trigger puberty, which means that children exposed to porn, or simply oversexualised images, could be causing girls to start their periods earlier.

Earlier menarches have not been observed to be a bad thing at this point and it's still not clear what exactly has been causing the decrease in age among all ethnic groups in the past few decades. There's been studies observing a higher BMI/fat proportion around the waist correlating with earlier menarches. Which has led researchers to wonder whether an increased nutrition has to do with earlier periods, if a higher fat composition sends a signal to the body that it is ready for puberty, or neither of the above. Height has also increased worldwide in developed countries and that's certainly a tied to nutrition.

Different ethnic groups have different menarche ages as well - black, hispanic, and East Asian Americans have an earlier menarche age on average than white Americans by up to an entire year (and these studies are controlled for socioeconomic factors, etc). I got my first period at the end of 5th grade and briefly lived in Korea the next year where about half/three-quarters of the other Koreans my age all had their periods by the end of the school year. When I came back to America I thought it was a that little curious that my mostly white friends were getting their periods at the end of 8th grade. I remember seeing looks on their faces when I told them I already got mine before we graduated elementary school 😂

Earlier menarches have not been obersved to be a bad thing at this point and it's still not clear what exactly has been causing the decrease in age among all ethnic groups in the past few decades.

That's true. There may be many factors contributing to it, or it does have to do with nutrition, in which case it's a flaw in our evolution that a girl can get pregnant before her body can handle it.

As for not being observed as a bad thing doesn't really mean it is not a bad thing, considering how sexism is rampant in the medical field.

[–] Tnetennba 2 points Edited

Isn't there evidence that the earlier you get your period the higher risk you have for breast and reproductive cancers? Because the window of lifetime hormonal exposure is just bigger.

Very interesting about the BMI, as I have to constantly keep my weight up past a certain point in order to have my period. I do think it's related to the body's perception of whether or not there are enough resources coming in to be able to sustain reproductive functions. It makes sense that if there are less resources coming in, the body would not be as likely to support a pregnancy.

Don't forget growth hormones in milk and meat possibly affecting hormonal processes, too!

I want to second this!

I got my first people at 11 (my mom got hers at 14) and I think it's definitely due to the hormones in milk and meat. (I consumed a lot of dairy as a child) :/

i started mine at 16 as well, so it may be that, but i've noticed that since i live in a Chinatown (chinese culture doesn't have much of a stigma on periods) it's perfectly comfortable to discuss it - even if i have a male friend over, i don't feel the need to hide pads or cover bloodstains on my sheets 🤷🏻‍♀️

Omg, in 6th 7th grade if anyone needed to borrow a pad, it looked like we were selling drugs, so carefully passing it to your friend without anyone seeing it. Of course as we got older we got more comfortable about it, but still not a subject I hear people talking out in the open.

It's simply obesity, fat turns testosterone into estrogen.

Do you have any research to back up those claims?

[–] hascats 1 points Edited

Here's a study I found with a quick search.

Conclusions: Girls who experienced early menarche are significantly more often overweight/obese. Overweight/obesity may be considered as one of the predictors for the early occurrence of menarche.

Here's WHO factsheet on obesity.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.

While just under 1% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 were obese in 1975, more 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) were obese in 2016.

[–] [Deleted] 32 points Edited

There are so many women with radfem aligned takes in twox, but if you tell them this or draw attention to it, they become hostile with you. It's truly bizarre. Lots of women there on the verge of peaking, but when they get close they always take a few steps back---like wait, woah now, I'm not a bigot! I'm reporting you! ...sigh.

Sometimes i'll comment there something pretty radfem, and I'll even get awards by other users. Yet I know if they saw my comments on this site, they'd call me a bigot without even reading them. It's truly astounding. Reminds me of our bff Kaitlyn Tiffany and her article at the Atlantic.

I was the same way. For many issues my views aligned with radfems, but I didn’t want to be grouped in with the “evil TERFs”.

When the whole JKR debacle started and I found myself agreeing with her on even this particular issue as someone who could have been viewed as a TRA in some ways, I took a deep dive into radfem spaces to see if I was just going crazy and a TERF after all or if they actually had a point. Well now I’m here and embracing it lol.

It takes time.

Yep. I remember once I made the blatantly terfy statement along the lines of "the world recognizes me as a woman regardless of how I identify" and expected to get downvoted to hell. Instead I got a bunch of upvotes

What did the comments have to say about criticism of makeup? That always seems raise libfem hackles.

[–] [Deleted] 31 points Edited

Truly don't understand it. I don't understand being so attached to makeup and the beauty industry that you're so personally offended by the idea that makeup isn't great for women and not actually empowering at all. And I'm even someone who wears it from time to time. They don't even want to discuss it! It's ridiculous.

When I first got into radfem stuff, the makeup thing resonated with me the most, mostly because I've always had a weird relationship with makeup (couldn't understand why so many women growing up with and around me wanted me to always wear more and more and more...was tiring). I remember talking to my (now ex) boyfriend and his female friend at the time when I first read into radfem theories regarding makeup. The friend was offended and my boyfriend told me I sounded like a conservative (nevermind that more conservative women often tend to wear more makeup...). Their reactions were both extreme and led me to question the whole concept much deeper from that point on.

I am a good liberal, so everything I disagree with is conservative.

Yeah, if wearing makeup is really such a free choice, just like what you're having for breakfast, then why do they always get so aggressively offended when someone criticizes it or refuses to wear it? They wouldn't have such a response to someone saying "well, I just don't like bread for breakfast, I prefer baguettes." They'd shrug and move on. But with makeup? It's really telling in my opinion that they get so angry about it. It's not a free choice, it's conditioned and compulsive and carries so much emotional baggage, it's insane.

I'm saying that as a woman that hasn't worn makeup in more than 5 years now, and the pressure to do so is intense. But I won't budge, unless I absolutely have to (e.g. if it was a job requirement, and you can rest assured I'd complain about it), because I think the world desperately needs more women that don't give in. I needed such women when I was younger, especially in media. I felt so alone. I want to make other young girls see that they can choose to have a bare face. A man doesn't even have to think about any of this stupid mental baggage - a man's face is acceptable the way it is, without anything slapped onto it. Why wouldn't mine be? I refuse to put in extra money and time that a man doesn't have to.

It's really telling in my opinion that they get so angry about it. It's not a free choice, it's conditioned and compulsive and carries so much emotional baggage, it's insane.

Hits the nail on the head. Always be cautious when people get offended because it can say a lot about the nature of their beliefs, imo.

I remember in junior high, the more popular girls wore makeup and they would keep on telling me to wear makeup. Of course, the more they insist on it, the more I dug in and refused to wear makeup on principle. I was a radfem back then without being aware of radical feminism, LOL. I just knew it was not okay and I was intensely uncomfortable with the whole thing, even though I played with makeup at home and my mother literally wore makeup everyday even if she was not going anywhere but stayed at home and cleaned house.

Possibly libfems don't say anything because it's "cis privilege".

Now it seems everyone non-cis is wearing makeup, except for the girls who are nonbinary or trans) - so "cis privilege" is non-existent?

Patriarchy and TRA made sure that women are only women, when they perform male pleasing femininity.

It's as if she doesn't realize all that nonsense is optional.

(except the sexual harassment, until we fix males)

ETA - males need to fix themselves, is what I mean. it's not our job to "fix" them.

And she doesn't realize that Lean Into It stuff is new. We did not give a shit if you were into makeup or not in the 80's and 90's. We were not decked out in glitter and pink bows 24/7.

[–] Eava 10 points

I think this depends where you grew up. The 80s were big hair, glittery makeup, lots of eyeliner, and dressing like Madonna when I was growing up.

If you from a very early childhood was taught and introduced that there only one way to be a woman, there isn't really an option for a child.

Even when I was a child I used believe I would wear makeup everyday when I'm grown. I didn't even realized how wrong I was.

True, but Madonna wasn't the only female artist around. I'm just going to cherry-pick around Madonna to give some examples: Patti Smith, Tracy Chapman, kd lang, Tori Amos, Four-Non-Blondes, Bjork, Salt-n-Pepa... very different artists, different kinds of engagement with notions of femininity.

I might be sentimental but the music world seemed less corporatized before 2000, and the artists seemed less constrained by a particular image they had to somehow fully inhabit.

I used to be so worried that if I got married I would have to shave my legs all the time instead of going hairy if my legs wouldn't be seen.

Reading the controversial comments, I get the feeling that people think "TERFs" want only gender roles or to completely reject femininity??

Example:

As a non-binary person my gender presentation reads as "woman" and patriarchal misogyny sucks, but TERFy misogyny also sucks. (TERFy misogyny for me is that 'I'm not a princess, I'm a scientist" and "empowered women don't cover their hair/wear hijab/wear make up/whatever" bullshit in white western 2nd wave feminism that devalues 'femininity' and tries to enforce rigid definitions of gender such as those that bizarrely exclude trans women's feminity).

[–] [Deleted] 26 points Edited

That quote doesn't even make sense. I don't understand their understanding of 'terfs'. Typical though, most don't understand our ideas. Of course when all else fails, just say we are 'white feminists'

TRAs did a damn good job convincing people that what they’re saying is actually what “TERFs” think and talk about.

And the additional layer is the whole “block and stay safe” attitude that makes people think that “TERFy” views and and any word uttered will make a trans person spontaneously combust. This way you’ll never come in contact with it and shield your eyes before it reaches your brain to actually process what’s being said.

[–] MenHaveItEasy Moid Respecter 1 points

block and stay safe

More like, "You better not read unapproved content, or else I'll send my personal army to threaten and harass you."

Exactly. When at a loss, they reach for "divide and conquer."

We've really come full-circle, haven't we? When girls think that being a "princess" and wearing hijab is more empowering than being a scientist, actually contributing something to the world, and wearing comfortable clothing just like men can. It's just so ridiculous.

"TERFy misogyny"? -- what?... It's not even possible to respond to a completely BS strawman like this. It makes no sense and it's based in nothing.

"TERF" is just an amorphous devil character these people project everywhere, and so they claim to see it everywhere, while it's actually nowhere to be found. But they get to feel validated via their attempts at scapegoating.

[–] OneStarWolf 8 points Edited

What kind of word salad definition of terf was that supposed to be?? Doesn’t even make sense.

Guess I'm a TERF misogynist then. Femininity is just ritualized submission, fuck that.

[–] Radical 7 points Edited

Some of the comments on there are pure gold. They prove our points perfectly:

  1. "Man just when I thought I had a defining experience as a trans man turns out it’s just normal woman stuff to wish you were a man on the reg. For once I’d just like one piece of me that wasn’t just “woman experience that too teehee”. One piece I could claim as my own experience as a man."

  2. "What? I'm confused why this post assumes pre-pubescent females are genderless. Puberty does not give a person their gender, a pre-pubescent person still has a gender. If we're talking about gender identity that can be formed both pre or post puberty."

  3. "this gives me r/egg_irl vibes lol"

  4. "I had all of these feelings and realized that it's not super normal to hate your reproductive organs and want to be a dude. Turns out, I'm nonbinary! Maybe if you feel this way and it's not just a distaste for beauty standards and sexual harassment, there's a bit more to it lol"

  5. "You’re conflating gender expressing and gender identity"

  6. "I think I'll always feel disconnected from cis women because I didn't experience this growing up."

  7. "Tbh this reads like the experience of a trans man or afab enby."

  8. "Oof hitting puberty as a trans girl is also super traumatizing. Guess we can’t win no matter what our bodies do."

  9. "The post feels TERFy and Not Like Other Girls. That whole bit about leaning in and doing makeup tutorials and pretending it's fun also left a bad feeling behind. There's a distinct sense of shitting on femininity here"

  10. "I have to wonder if some of OP’s post is coming from a place of gender dysphoria? I don’t know, but I don’t think I ever hated being a girl, except for maybe one time when I was a kid and thinking “I wish I were a boy because they can play in the dirt and get messy and they don’t have to wear pink”

  11. "I’m FtM and relate to this on infinite levels"

  12. "This is always why I feel guilty for wanting to have had this experience- being trans made it so i'll never have to deal with that, but damn if it doesn't suck"

And my personal favourite:

  1. "ugh this is kind of bioessentialist. womanhood is not a curse. also this erases the experience of trans women"

I laughed at the 'there's a sense of shitting on femininity here'- OH NO! NOT WOMEN SHITTING ON FEMININITY! That would be terrible. Femininity is sacred and we must speak about our makeup routines in hushed hallowed tones. We may never ever ever ever be critical of the expensive face goo that is marketed to us by multi-billion dollar corporations run by old white men. Femininity rules!

[–] MenHaveItEasy Moid Respecter 4 points

There's a lot of "egg cracking" grooming in the comments here.

I can see another reason why TIMs want to infiltrate female spaces so badly. To recruit women to their gender cult by preying on women who arent 100% happy with gender roles given to women.

also this erases the experience of trans women

TRANSLATION: "when a woman talks of her personal experience, her primary concern must not be expressing herself or relating to other women; her primary concern must be deciding whether a man also had this experience & if not, she must shut the fuck up"

[–] tamingthemind eh/ayyy 1 points

Another one that actually made my mouth drop

"… is it normal to be a woman but hate being a woman and want to be a man? Cause I thought that’s what made me a trans man."

Imagine being so alienated from other women, and from discussing these feelings, that you think it makes you a transman.

[–] Raddest_Bean 5 points Edited

I saw this when it was doing rounds on radfem tumblr and the op (angeleyesbyabba) had dozens of messages telling her this means she is trans, the subtext being that women enjoy their own dehumanisation. And then people were harassing her because talking about a universal female experience is terf dogwhistles.

Edit: She ended up bending over backwards to apologise to the TRAs. Plus she had to make her own blog viewable to tumblr users only to get away from the harassment. Here's a reblog of the apology by a friend of hers in case you want to read it. I had to scroll past ten trans affirmations to get here.

Edit 2: And this is from when the post was first making its rounds and everyone told her she might be trans. I wonder when she'll realise that TERFs are the only ones who will let her speak of the universal female experience.

Edit 3: Scrolled further into her blog and she says she has gotten death threats. WTF?

[+] [Deleted] 1 points

That just sums it up for me. God I wish Michfest was still around. It would be so amazing just to be surrounded by women. Why won’t men let us have this?

Why do they always have to be among us? Watching us? Controlling us. I want to be free.

Women are wild animals. Men domesticated themselves (ok doodly sir, if that is what u want) and they try to do it to us, too. We don't have to accept it, but it sure does fill them with rage when our true wild selves are expressed freely. Always has. Ancient men were the same way. Nothing has changed.

Really love this! I can completely relate. Also have to mention...we don't have to throw our self expression under the bus along with ridiculous beauty expectations. I mostly do not follow any prescribed beauty rituals (except perhaps ones I don't recognize yet!) but, One of my favorite things to do is dress myself beautifully, make beautiful art around my eyes/cheeks/forehead (I am loving drawing daisies and other plants lately). It is truly enjoyable, and I do it for fun and to express my mood that day. I probably see about 3 different people each week...I'm doing it for myself. For me it's like living art. I'm not on board with this kind of demeaning/belittling language implying that a woman can't actually enjoy learning eye makeup techniques or expressing her creativity with her style. It's sort of a backwards step because you are taking on the role of belittling someone's badass art (like some of these cooky makeup creations) just because it has to do with makeup. 'Oh, how darling, that the woman thinks she enjoys her little makeup videos.' or even worse, it's belittling her actual lived experience "oh, she says she enjoys it, but I know better because I'm above her (i know more about being liberated)". This holds a similar energy to "well, she says she knows she doesn't want a c-section, but I'm the doctor so I know better". Like she could not possibly be aware of her own nuanced thoughts and feelings on makeup...because that would mean she's human. ...does this make sense? anyway, thanks for listening <3

Okay but the vast majority of women don't do that, they attempt no-makeup makeup looks. You're failing to see the overall harm makeup culture is doing.

Incorrect. I agree that makeup culture and the terrible makeup industry are doing harm! As well as the anti aging industry, the cosmetic surgery industry etc etc etc. That's why I said "We don't have to throw ourselves under the bus ALONG with ridiculous beauty standards". I expressed that I agree that "ridiculous beauty standards" should be thrown out, but that we should not deprive ourselves of the creative aspects of that, or shame and belittle other women who have found a creative outlet there. Essentially my point is that you can say 'fuck the beauty industry' without also asserting that there's nothing that women can get out of using makeup. I'm curious why you didn't comment on the part of my comment that was explaining why this type of assertion is harmful to the movement? That is the crux of what I'm trying to say here, but you chose to see it as me somehow 'failing to see the overall harm of makeup". Like, that is known here come on. Can we go a little further and find a place where we realize that deciding a woman can't get anything positive out of expressing herself by saying that she is "claiming" that the tutorials are fun. Like come one. Why are we pretending makeup can't be fun or positive for women. I feel like everyone is stuck on this extreme "ALL MAKEUP MUST GO" when a more moderate message of "if you aren't truly wearing it for yourself, it's harmful" is a better description of reality. We don't have to baby women by speaking in black and white and un nuanced terms...

I'm with you. And I've commented similar things since joining here. The consensus here is that "makeup=bad". No, the culture around it is what's bad. It's sexist roots are what's bad. Makeup by itself is just a collection of pigmented products.

[–] [Deleted] 3 points Edited

I think the point is that you're still spending time and resources on something that you're going to ultimately wipe off at the end of the day, that doesn't give you any social or economic power... you have one life only, do you really want to spend it that way, when we so badly need more women to be in positions of power, creating media and art with a message, etc. etc.?

I don't think it's at all by chance that women, being the less economically powerful class of people in our society, are so preoccupied with decorating their own body instead of building permanent things outside of their bodies.

I think the point is that you're still spending time and resources on something that you're going to ultimately wipe off at the end of the day, that doesn't give you any social or economic power... you have one life only, do you really want to spend it that way, when we so badly need more women to be in positions of power, creating media and art with a message, etc. etc.?

You could say this about a lot of things. Why buy yourself that cool band t-shirt when you're just going to take it off at the end of the day? Why treat yourself to some birthday cake once a year if you aren't starving and there are better, more nutritious foods you could eat instead? I agree that makeup culture is harmful to all women, but 'because you're going to take it off at the end of the day and doesn't give you any social or economic power' is not why it's harmful. No one would have hobbies if that was the reasoning we were supposed to follow.

I don't think it's at all by chance that women, being the less economically powerful class of people in our society, are so preoccupied with decorating their own body instead of building permanent things outside of their bodies.

Agreed. But there's nuance to this just like most things. We can agree that the women who have a real phobia of being seen barefaced vs the women who do SFX makeup videos are motivated by very different things. The former being a product of female socialization and misogynistic conditioning that tells women we're worthless and ugly without makeup. However, a lot of people here slip into telling other women what they 'should' and 'shouldn't' be doing, and I don't think we need to do that either. We get enough of that from men. If a woman isn't cut out for leadership and is comfortable in her skin (as in, she doesn't care if she's seen barefaced or not) but has a small makeup hobby, what is the issue with that? I understand that our choices don't occur in a vacuum, but we are still meant to enjoy things for ourselves. Its starting to feel like the agreement here is that if you touch makeup at all, for any reason, you're seen as part of the problem.

I disagree with you on some things but I don't have the time to make a nuanced argument and there have been multiple women before me who made the argument against makeup in great complexity; I recommend reading The Beauty Myth, Beauty and Misogyny, Second Sex, etc; I think they collectively addressed all of the points you made.

[–] [Deleted] 4 points Edited

Interesting perspective! I don't consider it a necessity to build anything outside myself, I am all that I have, really. I do not agree with the way governments are run, or with some people having power to decide the lives of others. So positions of power are not my goal in life. I enjoy the ephemeral and shifting nature of creating something (an outfit, a pattern on my face) that is not meant to be consumed or sold or recognized by anyone but myself. It's very capitalist style mindset to say that we should be creating for a purpose only and somehow pure enjoyment is not a good enough way to spend ones life. Purposeless creation is healthy and therapeutic. I think of spending money on makeup (which I rarely do, as I do not like to consume things in general and do not really use or need much) as the same as spending money on art supplies. When I sit down to draw on my face it is creative time that's just for me. That is how I like to spend my limited life time. In enjoyment vs trying to force change in a system that is far out of my control. I do what I can for the people in front of me, I am not seeking power. I'm seeking health and community exchange, and connection to nature. I think many women have built plenty outside their bodies. We are out here living, running businesses, owning homes etc EDIT: ps. i like your username

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